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Strong Moral Values a must for better social harmony

Organised by Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS)

04 May 2013, Kalikasthan, Rasuwa, Nepal

Social awareness among local people is one of major ingredients for development. No society can move forward without social harmony, no matter how reach is it in terms of resources. With the view of generating awareness among local people the Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) conducted one day seminar here in Kalikasthan, Rasuwa Saturday.

Executive director of NEFAS Ananda Shrestha in the beginning came up with view that social awareness was a must to maintain harmony in the society. Highlighting the objectives of the program, Shrestha said people should be aware what they have and what they can do for the society. The program was organized with the view of spreading knowledge about social awareness and social well-being to a large extent. We would collect all the views and bring them to the attention of concerned bodies so that it would help them formulate national policies to a large extent.
Even though over politicization seems to have marred the social harmony, we should always focus on development with social harmony and better coordination among the people. This is how we can live in harmony, he said adding "NEFAS, with this objective has been conducting such program in different parts of the country."

NEFAS chief further elaborated that interactions between people, particularly youths was essential to accelerate a positive movement in the society. Today's youths are quite competent and able, but deterioration of moral values amongst youths could largely jeopardize social harmony, he said.

Even though the people in this tiny mountainous village is well aware about the importance of education, most of them seem to be politically ignorant and naïve.
The number of schools, colleges and education institutions definitely draw a rosy picture of this village, but from the point of view of sociologist, political analysts, economists and development experts; civic education and political awareness are equally important for sustainable development of the village.

Highlighting the objective of the programme, Shrestha said that the interaction with the local people would greatly help dig out the real sense of people. This type of programme has been organised in more than 68 districts with the view of generating knowledge about civic education. We hope our efforts would at least help policy makers to formulate national policy at the interests of local people."

While presenting his paper, Shiva Raj Dahal, a social science expert who has been closely monitoring the social aspects of the village for the last couple of years said that political awareness along with civic education are must to instill growth. "Otherwise growth cannot be sustainable," he said.

Education without civic or moral values ultimately takes society nowhere. Today's youths are more inclined to go abroad for employment or education. They are heavily influenced by Western culture (so-called modern culture) which to a large extent contributing to the degeneration of our social values, Dahal added.

He further said that youths from the very beginning of their school days should be made well-aware about their duties and responsibilities towards society.

Presenting his paper on "Roles and Responsibilities of Youths", he said concerted efforts should be made to formulate policies on mobilization of youths for positive change in the society. Rome was not built on single day, it needs continuous efforts of stakeholders and social activists, and hence our efforts should at least be zeroed in on policy formulation.

Highlighting the economic aspects for social integration, Prof. Dr. Gunanidhi Sharma, former vice chairman of National Planning Commission said that social and economic development cannot be kept a part. They should go hand in hand. It is the responsibility of the government to formulate policies to encourage youths to work for the society.

Prof. Sharma blamed political parties and their leaders for failing to give vision to youths. Inability of political leadership has triggered instability and frustration among youths.

Presenting a bleak economic scenario of the nation, he said myopic vision of the leaders and policy makers brought the country's economy to a dire strait. However, he said that youths who are the future of the nation should be encouraged to take political leadership.

Prof. Ram Kumar Dahal, presenting his views on political facets said that youths who have bigger role in the society should always be aware about moral values. They are the leaders of political parties who can really work out for the new generation.

Prof. Dahal also underlined the need for introducing a 'mass social campaign for youths'. Policy at national level must be formulated to encourage youths to work for the society and adhere social norms. Citing an example of a Norwegian Prime Minister he said that today's youths should be taught what moral values are.

Youths should be encouraged to take part in political activities. However, we or our system has blindfolded them and youths are shying away from politics.

Floor discussion

People from various walks of life who took part in the workshop underlined need of seminars and workshops for local people. However, our voices should be brought to the attention of policy makers who help formulate policy at national level.

Most of the people in this village are well aware about the importance of education and more specifically women and adult education is very popular here, says Ram Dayalu Shah, principal of Kalikasthan Secondary School.

He says social harmony, balance of power and understanding the social values are the major components to make the society dynamic, transparent and value-based.

However, he says that the village is not an exception to other villages in the country, youths are shying away and most of them are aware about civic education and social values.

Speaking at the interaction programme on "Civic Education to Youths" organised, most of the participants underlined the need for instilling the values of civic education. Particularly, women participants expressed their concerned about growing anomalies in the national politics.

Sita Dhakal, an activist of women cooperative society and former political activist said that politicians particularly law makers from different political parties should be given moral education. This is high time for upholding social harmony, he said.

Another participant Meghnath Dhital underlined the need for educating youths to instill the feeling moral values.

Shanti Thing said that a kind of social movement should take place to bring the social towards the right direction.

Responding to queries of participants, Prof. Dr. Gunanidhi Sharma said social development should go along with economic one. Both economic and social development should go in tandem.

Prof. Ram Kumar Dahal, said local people no matter where they live and what social status they have should be aware about politics and culture.

Resource person, Shivaraj Dahal elaborating the significance of social values said that country's development is not possible without empowering youths. So youths should be mobilized for positive change in the society.

From the chair of the programme, Meghanath Dhital said that such awareness program would largely help generate awareness among local people.

Around 150 people from different walks of life were participating in the programme.

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